Echo Park Lake lotus bed showing new signs of life

About two months after they were planted, a new generation of lotus at Echo Park Lake have begun to poke above the water line  spread across the surface  in the northwest corner of the lake.   The 378 plants, which were just a tangle of roots and stems when they arrived in February, are intended to replace the original lotus bed, that died off mysteriously several years ago.  The bright green lotus leaves  are now growing under black netting to protect the young leaves from birds. The lotus were planted as part of an $85 million clean up and rebuilding of Echo Park Lake, which is scheduled to reopen to the public next month.

When will those large pink lotus blossoms start to bloom?

Some city officials have said it might be a year or two before the Echo Park Lake lotus–a variety of nelumbo nucifera–are able to flower. But aquatic plant supplier Randy McDonald, who grew the plants from a cutting taken from Echo Park Lake a few years ago, has previously said he expects that the lotus will bloom again this summer. The lake and surrounding park are scheduled to reopen to the public next month.

But the new Echo Park Lake lotus will have competition when it comes colorful aquatic blooms.  Water lilies (pictured at bottom) planted in the lake’s new wetlands areas have already begun to bloom.

New lotus leaves emerge under protective netting.

New planted in the same location as the original lotus bed.

New water lily blossoms are now floating on the eastern side of the lake.


  1. Wooohooo! I am so excited to see flowers floating in the lake again and to walk around our glorious Echo Park Lake!!!!

  2. Its good to see something valued and nurtured rather than paved over and forgotten in LA.

  3. Are we really celebrating the glories of a man made lake? How grotesque. You do realize that the more we congratulate man made versions of mother natures finest the farther we push ourselves away from who we really are. This is great news that we can dig a hole and fill it with water, line it with palm trees to create fiction but what is greater is not living the life a faux-human in artificial surroundings. Humans…so pathetic.

    • ennui…

    • Too much kombucha today?

    • “The more we congratulate man made versions of mother natures finest the farther we push ourselves away from who we really are.” You’re joking, right? Your issues with Modernity are a little on the late side. You can’t seriously be up in arms about people living in an urban environment being happy about a park. Nobody’s saying a park is better than raw nature. Nobody.

    • I think we’re celebrating the restoration of a piece of Los Angeles history, you twat

    • Given that Glendale Blvd and parts of 2nd St used to be a riverbed (just like Silver Lake Blvd, and Myra where it goes under Sunset), I’m glad to see that at least part of it is preserved as a wetland, even if it’s slightly larger than the stretch of the river used to be.

      And I’m sure that everyone who lives downstream of it is happy that the rains don’t just wash all the way down uninterrupted.


    • Scuk it, Ishmael

    • Fishsmell Ishmael

      I’ll donate a shovel if you dig me a lake

    • Wasn’t this place handmade to begin with? Is not man a part of nature? Do we not appreciate many man-made gardens and is it not man(woman)-kind who has the opportunity to care for our beloved earth. At times I feel like we get lost trying to find our way to Truth and forget that we are also a part of nature.

      I supposed you don’t visit natural parks and preserves, you don’t appreciate the coral reefs and various places where man is continually rebuilding what our previous ancestors forgot.

      Life goes on and nature finds it’s way… especially when humankind remembers that it is one with all of nature.

    • I’m 62 years old now and I was born near Echo Park Lake. It was an oasis for me when I was a growing up. It was a place of wonder, joy for me. I didn’t question why or how it happened to be there, I embraced it and loved it. I still remember how I felt the first time I saw the Lotus Flowers. I’ve been drawn back to Echo Park Lake time and time again, to reminisce over the wonderful things that I discovered there. Ishmael, please take a child to the lake, and see the amazement in there eyes. I’m sure they won’t question, “Why”.

  4. Lighten up Ishmael. It’s a lake in the middle of a city, man made or not, it enhances quality of life. Enjoy it or GTFO.

    • Yes, it enhances your quality of life in your limited view of what quality is.

      • You have a different opinion then I do! Leave this land!

        Anyways, I do see what you are saying Ishmael.But the park/man made lake has been a celebrated part of the community for a long time. It is something a lot of people miss, a place people can go and relax with their families and for children to play. So can we find a middle ground on this one and maybe agree to disagree?

        I miss my walks around the lake. I don’t live down the street from it any more but I am looking forward to stopping along my way home for a few laps around the lake.

      • Call me Ishmael and we can discuss.

      • What’s pathetic is the notion that someone (Ishmael) thinks the world should conform to his limited view of life

  5. I’m also so excited to see the lotus replanted and hope it will be healthy and cover large areas as in the past! The only thing worse than having a man-made lake is not having a man-made lake, just concrete and metal and more concrete and more metal.

  6. Hmmm, commenting on a man made lake on a man made computer. Reading a man made blog about a man made city. Will the human patheticness never end?
    I’m giving this all up and moving to the desert to live off the grid. I will only get my water from cactus. None of this pathetic man made plumbing for me.

  7. your conscience @ ep

    Could you imagine if man never intervened and just let the marshy swamp be what it once was? I guess the lake would be all naturally infested with diseases from human waste. Look if you are looking for something really spectacular, I would suggest you go hiking up the Eastern slop of the Sierra Nevada’s. This here is a great thing that happened here in Echo Park. The water had some type of herpes in it and was contaminated, but I guess old Ishmael likes that quality of life, weird guy! The lake has been a man made lake or reservoir prior to for more than one hundred years. I hope Ishmael refrains his way of thinking and comes back to reality.

    • Yes, I could imagine a world in which man didn’t intervene. It’s the most peaceful land anyone could ever imagine. It wasn’t until you homo-sapians showed up that things went awry. The very fabric of your society is based on a self-destructive myth that you unknowingly perpetuate through your daily lives. Everything you try to control or fix in nature you are actually destroying. There are simple laws that Mother nature created for us all to survive by and you humans are not exempt. Ugh…

  8. Go eat your carrots Ishmael.

  9. Once an area is settled by humans the best and most commendable goal is to enhance their community with development designed to nourish the heart, mind, and soul. Echo Park lake satisfies that criteria. The alternative in a city and trendy community like EP are boxey multi-story developments designed to pad a developer’s pockets. Can you imagine the enhanced beauty of EP if “artificial” parks and gardens were installed in every vacant lot instead of “man-made” housing?

  10. The lake bed/marshy land could hv been filled in, leveled and built upon, c. 1880 or so, we’re lucky that didn’t happen.

    Glad the lake is coming back (tho I hv serious concerns on how large the planted beds are, excuse me but didn’t they appear to be smaller in renditions?) and look forward to another 100+ years of EP Lake.

    • what they should of put on the bottom of the paper in really small letters is ” items described on paper may be smaller then the actual size”

      Stay tuned…

  11. Good GOD you commenters never cease to amaze with your negativity and nastiness. I don’t know how Jesus S. manages to maintain his blog without pain and strain from constant eye rolling. (Occupational hazards I guess…)

    I can always count on reading your comments to fire up an intense dislike of the changes and mood of the neighborhood over the years. Try being grateful, maybe adopting a live and let live mentality.

    I used to love reading this blog but it’s become a situation where every day, the comments section just sits here, waiting to SUCK.

    • epgirl,
      When one bakes a cake the recipe calls for lots of sugar. But, what may surprise you is the recipe also requires salt. You see the salt enhances the sweetness of the sugar. Odd I know, but if you think about it lots of things in life work this way.

      Try to appreciate it for what it is.

      • Touché Beanteam. I can appreciate the metaphor. Eastsider commenters though … I don’t find all that delicious on an anticipatory note. But thanks for taking the time to explain it all to me 🙂

    • On the other hand it’s entertaining and this thread will be great material for the next live performance of Eastsider blog comments.

      • Great point Neighbor. Any word on when the next one will be? (Missed the Taix event in spite of having the best intentions..)

        • I was at that live reading. It was bittersweet to hear my comments read aloud.

          I would suggest they do it again. I’d bet they’d have a huge turn-out.

  12. * Grateful for the lotus’ return *

  13. So glad the lotus plants are reviving! Will be wonderful to see the lovely blossoms!! Did anyone ever find the cause of their deterioration??

  14. So, let me post a question:
    Ishmael, why are you still in Los Angeles?

    • because i live in a cage and dont have the keys to get out

      • I have the key y’all! Don’t worry. It took a while to get him in; but in the cage he will stay!

        (his cage is left of the tooth-fairy’s cage and just bellow the easter bunny)

  15. ….OKAAAY! I remember back in the early 70’s when the lake was already grungy…no one did anything about it. Now it will be lovely again like it was in the 40’s when my Mom first saw it. I have lived in many parts of Los Angeles and I loved Echo Park the most. I hope this will be a start of renewal. Anyone who wants to live in the desert is welcome to it…been there, did that.

  16. “Ishmael” seems to be a commenter who has decided to take on the persona of the wise and sorrowful gorilla from the eponymous book by Daniel Quinn. Unlike the novel’s character of Ishmael, who communicates telepathically, this “Ishmael” is sadly limited to these comment threads. Also Ishmael led clever Socratic dialogues to elucidate his views instead of sarcastic and excoriating comments. Nice try though dude.

  17. I’m glad that the park has been refreshed. It was still one of the nicest parts of the neighbourhood when I lived there for a short time several years ago. It seemed to be fairly well-maintained and I didn’t really notice much in the way of vandalism besides a few tags here and there. Sorry to those that cannot appreciate the space for what it is; just a nice place to spend time.

  18. your conscience @ ep

    No! He is a hominoid, anthropoid, or a neanderthal barbarian, who doesn’t use any type of man made toiletries. :0

  19. The photos of infant lotus from the refurbished lakebed look quite nice, but they don’t provide an explanation for how the money was spent.

    $65 million had been the list price quoted as the EastsiderL.A. followed the progress of the Echo Park Lake restoration project.

    Sometime between December 2012 and March 2013 – the 6 turned into an 8 without any announcement or explanation.

    Someone from the City of Los Angeles or Council Member Garcetti needs to stop daydreaming in the lotus bed for a moment and explain why the taxpayers bill for this picnic in the park suddenly tacked on an extra $20 million!

    If Eric Garcetti expects to host a baby shower and ribbon cutting for the new Echo Park lotus bed right before election day next month, then he better show up with $20 million and walk it over to B of A for deposit into the taxpayer’s saving account –

    or he won’t see any flowers or hear any applause through the rotten tomatoes coming his way.

    • Finally another person with the right questions…where were you in the meetings? Kuddos on the info… they dont have a maintenace budget after the project is done btw…They said oh parks and recs will maintain the lake after.

      Brown Yeti I’ll bring the eggs you bring the tomatoes…


    • It was separate bonds for the boat house reno. Lake 65 boathouse 20.

      Get your panties out of a bunch… you are obviously trying to campaign.

      • Really, were you there at the meetings like I was and have copies the expenditures of where the money was spent by Prop O? I dont think so…

        Trying to campaign…how did you figure that one out captain obvious!!!

        They were 2 diffrent projects, and no it didn’t cost 65 million like you’d like to think, or lack there of… the total cost was 85million for the lake project, and the boat house had nothing to do with prop O.

        Where do justify 20million on the boat house? Gold plumming instead of Copper?


        • Your obviously worried about this tiny project a lot. So then of course you will be even more worried about the BILLIONS of unfunded pensions the city, county and state have comited to the unions, right?

          So why would you ever vote for another politician that is in bed with the unions? HUH CAPTAIN OBVIOUS!?

          Like so many, your thought capacity reaches the end of your nose.

          • Bond money is free money, right. The goal is to make sure that every last cent has been spent before it expires.

            Hold back enough to pay for a truly grand spread at the ribbon-cutting dedication ceremony.

            If the peasants can fill their bellies on pastries and finger sandwiches, gourmet coffees and teas and juice pops for the kids, while the pols congratulate each other at the podium
            – then nobody will pay any notice about the gadfly carrying a sign that reads
            – “we overpaid for concrete and gravel, endtime is here.”

  20. Vincent Montalvo

    WOW! I hear all this talk about how nice the lotus are and how nice the lake will be but YOU ALL JUST GOT ROBBED$$$$$$$$$$$$$ for millions of your hard earn tax dollars.

    There are so many problems with our new lake. For Example our new lake is out dated by the new Total Maxiam Daily Load (TMDL) requirements that echo park will need to meet. When Echo park lake was being disigned for TMDL it was for 10/09/09 Enviormental Protection Agency requirements . The propostion O/ Echo Park is done and it needs to meet new requirments for TMDL 2013. I attended many of these meetings giving them documents from EPA and they could of updated it but it all fell on deaf ears.

    Well I guess we can sit back and look at our $85million dollar lake. Echo park was known for being the second largest lotus bed and now it will be know for the most expensive lotus bed in the world.

    Now we all need to get ready for the Alge Blooms in the summer!!!!!!!!!!!

    • your conscience @ ep

      If we got robbed, I would say the rest of L.A. really got robbed! At least we have some of the money invested in our beloved, Echo Park. My tax return is the same as usual and they are going to tax us anyways. See you soon, hopefully at the lotus festival.

    • Could someone explain to me how a guy who can’t even spell in 90% of his posts gains even a bit of credibility as the self-appointed expert on restoration of a lake? This guy is one complaint after another interspersed with pseudo science.

      The Prop O Advisory Committee is comprised of truly amazing and knowledgeable community activists. Thanks for your service which contributed to the renewal of the lake.

  21. Vince, lost your contact info, please email me at flykuni@gmail

  22. Vincent Montalvo


    I was sepreat bond but the total bill to the tax payer just for the lake is $85 million and still might go up.

  23. I grew up in Echo Park!I left L.A. years ago due to military move but I miss those days I’d jog around the lake three times before chillin on the grass!I’ve heard Echo Park isnt the same(I use to live right across the lake,same street as BOA was on at the corner) but what does it matter,Echo Park Lake is my childhood park I grew up playing at and forever will remain as t
    Just to throw this in…I also lived across the Magic Gas Station(brown apts) I lived in that neighborhood all my childhood life.I miss Echo Park.I lived around there during the 80’s-90’s

  24. @Vincent Montalvo… cousin?! 😀

Post a Comment

Please keep your comments civil and on topic and refrain from personal attacks. The moderator reserves the right to edit or delete any comments. The Eastsider's Terms of Use and Privacy Policy apply to comments submitted by readers. Required fields are marked *